A solution that saved the manufacturer $10,500 / year in maintenance costs!

Reprinted from NinjaTek™ Case Studies

Clog Preventing Screen | Fenner Drives
Clog Preventing Screen CAD Drawing

The Challenge:

Prevent material from plugging the oxygen control flapper, across 9 material vacuum transfer systems.

The Solution:

3D print a custom self-retaining screen to be inserted upstream before the controller using NinjaFlex® flexible 3D printing filament.

3D Printing Strategy:


  • A rigid solution would require an o-ring or gasket, while Ninjaflex®filament allows the screen to be an exact fit.
  • A press fit screen negates the need for screws to secure the screen in place.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Material:

  • Ninjaflex® filament is a TPU filament, which is what the vacuum system was transferring.
  • Using the same material as what is used in the vacuum system prevents any cross-contamination.

The Result:

  • Prevented future maintenance time required to unclog and clean the oxygen control flapper.
  • A quick and inexpensive solution compared to designing and manufacturing the part externally, totaling $400 for 9 prints.

Cost Savings:

  • 2 mechanics @ $25.25/hr = $50.50
  • 4 hours of maintenance time per week = 208 weeks
  • $10,504 / year in maintenance costs

Key Printing Settings:

  • Fill %: 100%
  • Nozzle: 0.5mm
  • Retraction: none
  • Print temp: 235°C
  • Time for 1 screen: 1 hour
  • Layer height: 0.2mm

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